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Away From Home

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Who is John Roberts Jr.?

As you better already know, Bush nominated John Roberts Jr. to fill Justice O'Connor's seat on the Supreme Court. (And if you didn't already know that, well, slap yourself with a trout. I'm too lazy to do it.)

The choice caught me by surprise. All the talk about nominating either a woman or a minority, and he picks a white male? Didn't see that one coming.

Looking into it a bit deeper, it became clear why Bush chose him. First, he comes from the Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, so he has judicial experience, but he's only been on the court for two years, so he doesn't have a long paper trail. In fact, he has an extremely spartan paper trail altogether. All that has been found so far is a brief he co-signed when he worked for the Department of Justice, stating that Roe v. Wade should be overturned. However, all briefs put out by DoJ mirror the administration's position (by necessity), and he worked under Reagan and Bush I. No surprise that each of those administrations opposed Roe. You can hardly say that Roberts' opinion is clear from this brief; in fact, I contend that it says absolutely nothing about his opinion, because they had to reach that conclusion.

Second, he is a fantastic lawyer. One of the highest honors that a person can receive right after law school is the opportunity to clerk on the Supreme Court. Roberts clerked for Justice Rehnquist, twice. One of the highest honors that a lawyer can receive is the opportunity to argue a case before the Supreme Court. Roberts argued 39 cases, and won 33 of them. Before his appointment to the DC Circuit, he was regarded by many as the top lawyer in Washington.

That said, it's also being contended (though without convincing evidence, as far as I've seen) that Roberts is a solid conservative. In fact, I've heard him described as "Ashcroft with a smile." Considering that Ashcroft was, well, a fruitcake, it'll be very interesting to hear Roberts' confirmation testimony.


  • MooooOOoOoooAaaaaAAAaaaaaaannnnnnnnnnnnnn

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7/20/2005 01:01:00 AM  

  • Holy Lord, I just realized something.

    Bush nominated a white, conservative male for something.

    And people are in a real state of surprise.

    White, Right-Wing Man. We are surprised.

    How the hell did he pull that one off?

    By Blogger Logan C. Adams, at 7/20/2005 02:56:00 PM  

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